The who, what, where, and how
By Anthony Lombardi
In 2010, the Harvard Business Review, in an article by Leonard Berry et al. reported that the corporation Johnson & Johnson estimates that wellness programs have cumulatively saved the company $250 million on health care costs from 2002 to 2008. For every $1 spent on healthcare the return was $2.71. The message? Keeping your employees healthy is profitable.
Meet Dr. Lev Furman, a young and fledging chiropractic business entrepreneur practicing in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. He runs a busy multidisciplinary musculoskeletal practice but he has also build a reputation as a corporate chiropractic maven. I had the distinction of having a one-on-one interview with him and he agreed to give our readership some insight on how to become corporate healthcare providers.
A.L. How long have you been a chiropractor? Where did you go to school? How long have you been doing corporate chiropractic?
L.F. I have been a chiropractor in private practice for seven years. I completed my
Doctorate of Chiropractic from Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, MO. I began my journey in corporate chiropractic four years ago.
A.L.What corporations do you provide treatment to?
- Pepsi Corporation
- Build-a-Bear World Headquarters
- Cintas Corporation
- Frito Lay
A.L. Do you just manipulate? Or do you do soft tissue, acupuncture, etc?
L.F. It depends on the company. I do perform spinal manipulations for some, but others only receive soft tissue (manual therapy, myofascial release) work.
If an employee of that particular company requires more care, I request that they come to my private practice where I perform acupuncture and physical therapy services.
A.L. Do you just walk in and start treating, or do you provide an assessment first? If so what do you use to assess? Objective measures, subjective questionnaires? Etc.
L.F. At each corporation I have a sign-up sheet that is posted at the beginning of the week when I will be on-site. The list is full of employees who may be new or returning patients. I assess and treat each person for 15-20 minutes and will work on-site for two to three hours that day. During each patient visit I perform a subjective questionnaire, which consists of asking them where they feel discomfort, how long it has been going on, and what makes it better or worse. I am also interested in knowing what that employee’s job description is or what their daily tasks may be. This gives me a better indication of what the repetitive tasks are, so I can better treat that individual and not see a repeat pattern occurring. I also perform an objective assessment, which consists of range of motion analysis (cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, extremities, etc.) The game plan is to identify the overworked tissue and restore proper mechanics to the system so that the employee can continue to perform his/her job tasks without harming their body.
A.L. How do you court or attract corporations to sign a contract to have you provide corporate chiropractic? What are corporations like Pepsi/Frito-Lay, looking for in a chiropractor?
L.F. I have found that the corporations, which are performing physically demanding jobs (manufacturing, distribution, etc.) are the ones that benefit the most from my services. I present research and case studies from my current corporations to the corporate directors to show them not only how the employees will benefit from treatment (decrease in pain and increase of productivity), but also how my program will result in decreased medical expenses and loss of work days due to musculoskeletal issues. This is a big motivator for the corporation to save on their bottom line!
Corporations are looking to build relationships with chiropractors or any healthcare providers that can become a health advisor to the company. This is why something like this would also be applicable to massage therapists and naturopathic doctors. Corporations want a wellness consultant who can play an integral part in promoting a safe and healthy culture to their work force. The provider should be proficient in management of workplace injuries as well as prevention methods whether it is providing on-site care, health lectures, or wellness programs.
A.L. Naturally as your corporate arm extends you require more chiropractors to provide the services. What do you look for in an associate chiropractor?
What are the non-clinical qualities they need to possess? (Introvert/extrovert, good conversationalist, etc.)
L.F. What I look for in an associate is someone who is very confident and willing to break the mould of the standard chiropractic office/model. The associate must be able to understand the bigger role they are playing in the well being of the company. The role of a corporate chiropractor is to help employees perform to their best potential every day on the job. The associate needs to be knowledgeable of common injuries in the workplace and when they should treat and when not to treat through proper assessment. They should be comfortable with working in a fast-pace environment, which may not always be an office setting. At times the on-site location may be in a very loud factory. Non-clinically, the associate needs to be able to communicate effectively to any person in the company. It could be someone who just drove a semi-truck for the last eight hours or it may be the director of the company who only has a few minutes to spare. All in all, the role of a corporate chiropractor is very exciting and allows the chiropractor to be an influential part of the company’s success.
In my experience, the longer we keep the company healthy, the better the company does. Employees like to work where their employers care about them.
I look forward to helping more associate chiropractors find their role in improving the health of more corporations!
Anthony LOMBARDI, DC, is a private consultant to athletes in the NFL, CFL and NHL, and founder of the Hamilton Back Clinic, a multidisciplinary clinic. He teaches his fundamental EXSTORE Assessment System and practice building workshops to various health professionals. For more information, visit www.exstore.ca.